Henry Cejudo made MMA history by becoming just the second fighter in UFC history to successfully defend a belt in two different weight classes following his dismantling of Dominick Cruz at UFC 249.
In truth, this was always going to be a major test for the Olympic gold medal winner.
Despite the fact Cruz had not fought since surrendering the bantamweight title to Cody Garbrandt in December of 2016, the two-time world champion is known for a unique fighting style that many find difficult to deal with – hence the reason last night was just the third defeat of his career.
Henry Cejudo finishes Dominick Cruz in the second round and retires on top.
— WhatsUpMMA (@WhatsUp_MMA) May 10, 2020
Cejudo passed the challenge with flying colours, though, scoring a second-round TKO stoppage over the legendary former champion. “Triple C”, a moniker he placed upon himself, dominated the opening round with hard, well-placed leg kicks before finishing the fight early in the second with a thundering knee to the temple that sent Cruz to the canvass.
Cejudo then pounced on the highly-respected UFC analyst landing 12 unanswered shots leaving the referee with no choice but to step in and end the fight.
Following the fight, Cejudo claimed himself to be the greatest combat sports athlete of all time before promptly retiring from the sport at 33 years of age.
“I’m happy with my career. I’ve done enough in the sport. I want to walk away and enjoy myself. Since I was 11 years old, I’ve sacrificed my whole life to get where I’m at today. I’m not going to let nobody take that from me so I’m retiring tonight. Triple C’s out. You don’t have to hear my ass no more,” Cejudo said post-fight.
While it is difficult to see Cejudo walking away and never competing again, if this is the last we are to see off him, then he has left an undeniable legacy on the sport with his final four victories coming against titans of the sport, Demetrius Johnson, TJ Dillashaw, Marlon Moraes and Cruz, three of whom are considered to be among the greatest their respective divisions has seen.
Following the event, which took place in Jacksonville, Florida with zero fans present, Dana White confirmed that Cejudo had relinquished his bantamweight title and that a successor bout will be in place by the end of next week involving Petr Yan and an, as of yet, unnamed opponent.
– Olympic gold champ
– UFC double weight Champ
– Defended belts at both weight classes
– Beat the 3 men who are in the GOAT talk for his weight classes
An all time great👑 pic.twitter.com/m0VaBrxBq1
— Don MMA (@Don_MMA_) May 10, 2020
However, it is likely to be either Moraes or Aljamain Sterling who are ranked number one and two respectively in the division with Yan currently ranked third.